There are several different reasons why a doctor would suggest otoplasty as the remedy for a person's ears. Most people are born with ears that look normal, but there are many people that aren't. Some people have ears that are protruding, and others are born with a condition known as microtia. Microtia is a condition that affects babies, and it results in deformities. These deformities may be minor and they may only affect one of the ears. They can also be very severe though, and cases like this will definitely need some type of corrective surgery.
If a child is born with microtia, the child can undergo surgery to have this problem fixed. There are other times, though, that otoplasty is needed. One of the main times is to fix a person's protruding ears. The outer part is called the pinna. This is the part of the ear that you can see and it serves an important function. This function is to help a person hear. Protruding ears affect more males than females, and it is an embarrassing problem. Through otoplasty, this can be fixed. When protruding ears are corrected with this type of surgery, it is called reconstructive otoplasty. During this procedure, a doctor is able to fix the problem and make the ears look like they should.
There are several things that cause protruding ears. One of these things is the angle of them relative to the head. Normal ears stick out at approximately 20 to 35 degrees. This is average, but some people's stick out further than 35 degrees and this is when they begin to look weird, or protruding. Two other causes are overdevelopment or underdevelopment of the cartilage. If the ears have too much cartilage, there is a good chance that they will protrude. If there is not enough cartilage, this can also happen.
When a child has this condition, there are two main techniques that can be used to fix the problem. Otoplasty is one of these and ear splinting is the other. This works great for minor problems, and it can be done when a child is very young. The other option is used on more severe cases and is used when the child has microtia. This is usually done when the child is around 5 years old. Doctors will recommend waiting until the ears of the child are fully grown, even if they are not present. In other words, around the age of 5 a they are usually as big as they will get. This makes the age of 5 a good time to have this done. The child is still young enough, but the results will also be good because the ear size will not change much after this. This is a type of procedure that should only be conducted by cosmetic surgeons that are highly trained in reconstructive ear surgeries.